Friday, August 1, 2014

Junk in my Trunk

No, that's not a reference to my substantial posterior... just a reference to this old trunk I spruced up a really long time ago and am just now deciding to blog about.

My mom inherited a set of military trunks from her godmother years ago.  They belonged to her godmother's father, who was in World War I and had these really cool painted stencils with his name on them.  I believe there were originally a series of 7 numbered trunks.  Now, I think we have 3 of them... not sure what ever happened to the rest.

Here's one of the original ones.  Sorry about the blurry picture... I zoomed in really far.  I use this one as my coffee table.  Just wanted to show you for reference as to what they looked like originally.

Anyway, my mom re-purposed one of these trunks into a toy box for me when I was little.  As was the style in the 80's, wallpaper was 'in' and my room was no exception.  My room was covered in blue and brown Hollie Hobbie.  Remember her?

Well my toy box was not left out of the wallpaper extravaganza, and so was papered to match my bedroom in the coordinating accent wallpaper.  Every inch.  Inside and out.  She went to a lot of trouble papering that thing.  It had to have been a huge pain in the butt.  It was awesome at the time.  Very 80's chic... not to be confused with 'shabby-chic'.  However, after years of sitting in a hot attic, it was just shabby.

You see, I even had some fun of my own personalizing it with my very own that no one would be mistaken that everything inside belonged to ME and only ME.  I'm sure I wasn't supposed to be writing with magic marker on my painstakingly wallpapered toy box, but I digress...

The first step in refurbishing this trunk was to get all that wallpaper off.  It wasn't very hard since most of it was coming off of its own accord, so it just took a little pulling and scraping on my part.  What didn't come off by just pulling the corners, I just sprayed with a little warm water and scraped off with my scrape blade.  It came off very easily.

I wanted something that would be light and bright for my living room so that I could lighten things up in there for summer.  I didn't want to stray too far from its original appearance though, so I decided to stencil on the same thing that's on the original set of trunks.

I started with a coat of off-white paint over the entire thing and let that dry, then I did my stenciling. I did the same text as the original trunk: "Lt. Col. E.J. Voltz / Pittsburgh, PA." and since it it was a series, (and since I have no idea which ones we're actually original one is a No. 7) I decided to make this one No. 4.  For no other reason than I just like the number 4.  I decided to do my stenciling in gray, tan and black.  I figured that would go with just about anything.

Then came the tedious task of stenciling one letter at a time.  And I even did shadow text, so I had to go over it twice.

And then................. realized after it was all finished that I spelled 'Pittsburgh' wrong.  Yeah, it's got an 'h' at the end.  Duh.

Yeah, I didn't realize that until it was already in the house, dressed for success.

I was able to make that correction without too much trouble.  Luckily I had left enough room to add the extra letter without having to change anything else.

Then....... I realized I did the state initials P.A. instead of just PA.  So it reads, "Pittsburgh, Physician's Assistant."  Why is it so hard to see grammatical errors when you're up close and personal, making stencils that are really hard to correct?

My sweet little Bob-cat (#kittyheaven #missthatguysomuch) didn't have any problems with it, so I left it as is and it's still the same now.  I haven't bothered to fix it yet and I did this project months ago.  Maybe I'll get around to it one of these days.

Anyway, it turned out pretty nice overall... minus all the grammatical errors....and it holds a ton of stuff.  Now I have a place for all those old Pottery Barn catalogs, Better Homes & Gardens, and Country Living magazines that I can't bear to part with.  Not to mention a bunch of photos, DVD's and other miscellaneous items that were just taking up space under the bed.  Now that I think on it, I should probably get rid of some of that stuff, but oh well....

I have since switched my living room back to the original trunk / color scheme and this one lives in my bedroom.  My cat loves it and uses it for his own personal napping spot.  It was worth it to be able to keep all that junk in my trunk!  :o)